What are some of the most critical private home care questions to ask agencies when interviewing them? Today we get into the first six out of ten topics and issues to ask an agency when looking for them to provide home health care services. This blog isn’t a complete list, but it is a great start, so if you have thoughts or ideas about it, talk to us on social media!

What people ask:

1) Do You Insure Your Private Home Care Workers?

If the caregivers are not insured, this should be a deal-breaker for you.

If the caregivers are not employees, they’re probably not insured by the company either. This loophole can lead to some significant issues.

The first is that if a caregiver becomes injured on the job, they will look at the family for compensation.

It happened in the family’s home while caring for a family member. So we will include you in any lawsuits if it comes to that.

The insurance also works both ways. If the caregiver does something negligent, an employed and insured caregiver has a company behind it.

If it is just an individual, it becomes unlikely they have the kind of funds to compensate your family for their mistake.

2) How Do You Vet Caregivers?

How does your agency find, interview, and vet caregivers before they begin casework at home?

Do you perform local background checks, or do you rely on a more national database?

One issue we have in Massachusetts is that all the states in New England are relatively small. It only takes a matter of a few hours to drive through multiple states.

As a result, a caregiver could face a criminal conviction in New Hampshire and still commute to Massachusetts for work. A state-only background check will miss their conviction in Massachusetts. This loophole is far from ideal.

Find out if the company completes a national background check versus a local state-only one. 

3) How Do You Train Your Staff?

Is there training before going out in the field? What about ongoing training?

It is crucial to have a caregiver receive refresher courses on the tasks they do every day. It is essential for the caregiver’s and the client’s safety and success.

So how does your agency of choice approach training? Online? In-person? Both?

Find out what the company invests back into their caregivers to see how committed they are.

Are you looking for caregivers with the best training? 

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4) Do You Have In-House Office Staff?

The office staff of an agency is essential. I believe the consistency of office staff shows that things are stable at the company.

Don’t get me wrong. Turnover is a part of the business. But if you regularly see constant, repeated turnover of the same positions, it is safe to say things are turbulent at best.

Your concern is that it takes time to find the right person, train them, and trust that they know private home care. While that is going on, the chances go up that something falls through the cracks. You don’t want to be that client who becomes neglected.

This stuff happens at every company – we all make mistakes – but when it is a rotating door of employees, be aware that the boat might be hitting some rocky weather.

5) How Long Have You Been In Business?

We started Minute Women Home Care in 1969. But why is that important?

You might not want to do business with a brand new agency and owner learning the ropes.

The situation might be that the new company owner has decades of experience in home health and finally went out on their own. That’s fine.

But there are many private home care franchises out there that make money by opening more locations. Some of the franchisees’ past business experience has nothing to do with home health, and now they see the baby-boomer population as an opportunity.

Listen, we all start somewhere but get a feel from the owners and office staff’s background and experience. Not all experienced companies are great, and not all new companies are bad, but keep the company’s age in mind.

6) What Happens If I’m Unsatisfied With A Caregiver?

What happens if you are unhappy with the performance of a caregiver? You feel their work is shoddy.

Find out how quickly your private home care agency can replace a caregiver with a new one who might fit the case.

There can be degrees of how quickly you want this to happen. Maybe the caregiver is good, but the personality is not a fit, so it’s not urgent.

Maybe you lost trust because of a service failure, and you need immediate hourly care services. Find out how quickly that can happen.

If you have questions about our private home care services, get in touch with us here!

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